Understanding renter rights and landlord obligations are imperative, especially for repairs on heat and air. Fortunately, each state governs what has to be fixed and how soon. To help, we've compiled a state listing of the laws that cover rental repairs.
State laws vary regarding reasonable times allowed for making repairs, especially when habitability, which can include heat and air, is involved. This timeline generally ranges between 24 hours and 3o days in some states.
Read on to learn more about property laws for each state when the comfort, safety, and health of the renter are involved.
A Landlord's Required HVAC Repair Response Time By State
Lack of heat or air can make a home inhabitable, especially in extreme climates. Safety is a concern of the law but not necessarily comfort.
Depending on the state, the law may differ for this repair timeline.
Alabama Code 35 - Chapter 9A Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act allows tenants to send a written notice of lease agreement termination after 14 days if the landlord has taken no action to maintain "good and safe working order and condition."
Alaska Statute 34 - Chapter 3 Uniform Residential and Landlord and Tenant Act allow lease discontinuation 20 days after written notification, including a 10-day allowance for repair.
Tenants may make the needed repairs and deduct the cost from their future rent payments.
In Arizona, landlords have ten days after written notice to make repairs jeopardizing habitable premises. However, if your AC breaks, your landlord must repair it within 48 hours or provide a portable unit.
This can be especially pertinent in the summer months.
Then, the tenant may deduct $300 or half of the stated rent from rent for repair costs according to the Residential Tenant and Landlord Act.
The Code of Arkansas Section 18 considers rentals "as is" unless the lease agreement states otherwise.
Landlords have no defined legal obligations for habitability; renters lack legal remedies against landlords who don't make repairs.
California Civil Code Chapter 2 Section 1940 allows 30 days for repairs before a tenant can seek remedies, including rent deductions for repair costs or dissolution of the lease agreement.
Colorado Revised Statues Title 38 Article 12 outlines the provisions that landlords have up to 4 days to make necessary repairs based on habitability.
Connecticut General Statutes Title 47a allows 15 days for repairs affecting habitability.
Tenants seeking remedies for failure to comply beyond deducting the cost of repair from rent must file a formal grievance with the local Housing Court.
Capital City rentals follow D.C. Municipal Regulations Title 14 - Section 3: which doesn't specify a timeframe for repairs, only that notification is required and that tenants must allow reasonable time before exercising remedies.
Deleware Residential Code - Part III requires repairs within 15 days if stated in the lease agreement.
Tenants can withhold a portion of rent for repairs or, after 30 days, make the necessary repairs and deduct a specified amount from the rent.
Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes requires repairs within seven days after written notice, or the tenant can seek remedies such as non-payment or rent reduction.
According to Title 44, Chapter 7 of the Georgia Code, repairs to lease-covered items must be done within a reasonable, but not specified, amount of time.
Renters cannot withhold rent for failure to comply but can deduct repair costs from rent payments.
You must make repairs within 3-5 days according to Hawaii Revised Statutes Title 28 Section 521 Residental Landlord-Tenant Code.
If not, tenants may withhold or reduce the rent by the repair amount, but there's an official procedure to avoid a breach of contract.
Title 55 of the Idaho Statutes allows three days for repairs that compromise the habitability of a rental dwelling.
Unfortunately, renters don't have the option to withhold rent or deduct repair costs from rent if a landlord does not comply.
The Illinois General Assembly enacted the Landlord and Tenant Act which grants 14 days for necessary repairs but doesn't define the amenities that must be included or maintained, only that the dwelling must be fit for living.
Tenants have the right to a safe and habitable dwelling, but Indiana Code Title 32 doesn't specify a time frame for repairs other than reasonable.
It also doesn't clearly outline remedies a tenant can seek if a landlord doesn't make necessary repairs.
The Iowa Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Law grant tenants specific amenities and repairs within seven days of notice. They also have the right to reduce rent by the cost of repairs, if necessary.
Landlords in Kansas have a reasonable but undefined amount of time to repair rental properties to make them safe and habitable.
They're also protected against tenants withholding rent or reduction of rent by repair costs as outlined in the Kansas Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.
Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 383 specifies repairs within 14 days of notice or the option of withholding rent or deducting costs from rent payments.
In Louisiana, Revised Statutes Code Title IX expects required repairs within 14 days, or tenants can deduct the cost of repairs from rent payments if that intention is in the written notice.
Maine law outlined in Title 14 Residential Landlords and Tenants allows tenants to withhold rent or make rent deductions when necessary to create a safe and habitable dwelling within 14 days of notice.
Maryland's Landlord and Tenant Law allows a reasonable amount of time, generally, at least 3o days, for repairs to maintain a home's habitability.
Tenants may not withhold rent or reduce the rent payments by the cost of repairs.
Chapter 186 of Massachusetts law allows up to 14 days for habitability repairs. Otherwise, the tenant can make the repairs and recoup the cost by reducing rent payments or withholding rent for uncompleted repairs.
Michigan's Landlord and Tenant Relationship Act grants reasonable repairs time unless considered an emergency, which allows 24 hours.
If withholding rent, the tenants must deposit the rent into an escrow account. Tenants may also choose to make necessary repairs and reduce rent by the cost of repairs.
Minnesota law, 5048.001, allows tenants remedies when the landlord does not make repairs within 14 days. However, any rent withheld or funds to make repairs must go through an escrow account established by a judge.
Mississippi Code Title 89 allows landlords up to 30 days for habitability repairs.
Under this law, tenants don't have the right to withhold rent payments, but they can make necessary repairs and deduct the cost from rent payments.
Missouri operates under an implied warranty of habitability and Title XXIX. Chapter 41 states that landlords are responsible for the upkeep of amenities provided at the time of a rental agreement, not how long a landlord has to make repairs.
Montana Code Annotated Title 70 Chapter 24 requires completion of necessary repairs in less than 14 days, or a tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from one month's rent payment.
Nebraska's Article 14 Landlord and Tenant Act protects tenants by requiring habitability repairs to be completed within 14 days and offering the remedies of rent withholding or rent reduction by the cost of repairs.
Nevada legislation Chapter 118A specifies that landlords must repair habitability issues within 14 or tenants can withhold rent or make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent.
According to New Hampshire law Title III, Section 48A:14 gives tenants the right to have repairs fixed within 14 days or the option to withhold rent.
New Jersey Annotated Code allows tenants to withhold rent, seek rent abatement, or make rent reductions by the cost of repairs. Still, it does not specify the allowable time for necessary repairs.
Tenants can legally withhold rent payments for uncompleted habitability repairs beyond seven days, according to New Mexico Statute Chapter 47.
Article 7 Chapter 50 Sections 220-238A of the New York Landlord and Tenant law says landlords have a reasonable amount of time to make repairs. Otherwise, tenants can withhold rent or deduct the cost of repairs from the rent.
According to North Carolina Statutes, Chapter 42, Landlord and Tenant states that you must make habitability repairs promptly and reasonably. If not, tenants can seek legal action against the landlord.
The state of North Dakota allows a reasonable amount of time for a landlord to make repairs, according to North Dakota Century Code Title 47. Otherwise, tenants can file in small claims court for rent rebates.
Ohio Revised Code Title 53 allows a reasonable repair time not to exceed 30 days. The law only withholds rent through an escrow account with a court clerk.
Oklahoma Statutes Title 41 specifies repairing habitability issues within 14 days, or tenants can make the repairs and recover the cost by reducing the rent payment to the landlord.
According to Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 90, tenants can reduce rent payments for certain repairs for a limited amount when essential repairs are incomplete within seven days or 3o days for non-essential maintenance.
Pennsylvania's Landlord and Tenant Act allows landlords a reasonable but unspecified amount of time to make repairs.
Otherwise, tenants can withhold rent payments or reduce the rent to cover the cost of repairs.
According to the state's Landlord and Tenant Act, tenants in Rhode Island must allow 20 days. Then, repair costs up to a certain amount can be deducted from the rent.
According to South Carolina Code Title 27, Chapter 40 allows tenants to take rent reductions for repair costs when the landlord doesn't comply within 14 days of notice.
Property rights in South Dakota are governed by Codified Law 43:32, allowing tenants to withhold rent or deduct the cost of repairs from rent payments when the dwelling isn't "fit for human habitation" within a reasonable but undefined timeframe.
Landlords in Tennessee have 14 days to meet the state's requirements of habitability outlined in Tennessee Annotated Code Title 66 Chapter 28.
Otherwise, tenants can reduce their rent payment by the cost of the repairs.
Texas Property Code Title 8 Chapter 92 allows seven days for repairs except when water, heat, or air conditioning is affected, where the requirement lessens to 3 days.
Tenants may make repairs and reduce rent by the cost if the landlord doesn't comply.
Utah Code Title 57 requires 24 hours for emergencies, three days for habitability issues, and ten days for general repairs.
When the requirements aren't met, tenants can make the repairs and deduct the cost from their rent.
Vermont tenants must wait up to 30 days for repairs, according to Vermont Statute Title 9 Chapter 137. Otherwise, a tenant can withhold rent or make repairs and gain reimbursement through rent reduction.
The Code of Virginia Chapter 12 states that landlords have 30 days to make necessary repairs unless there's an immediate danger to health or safety which requires repair within 24 hours.
Tenants can file a claim in court for failure to comply.
Landlords have 24 hours to fix water, heat, or electricity issues and three days to repair plumbing and necessary kitchen appliances.
You must correct all other repairs within ten days of notice. Otherwise, tenants can hire a contractor and deduct the cost of repairs according to the Revised Code of Washington Title 59.
West Virginia Code Chapter 37 states that landlords have 14 days to make a reported repair. After that time, tenants may seek professional repairs and deduct reasonable costs from the rent.
Wisconsin Landlord and Tenant Law allow a reasonable but undefined amount of time for repairs to be made by a landlord. Tenants may vacate the premises and not pay rent for any time deemed unsafe.
Tenants in Wyoming must allow a reasonable repair time and have no legal course for remedies based on Wyoming Statute Title 1 Chapter 21 Article 12.
Do Landlords Need To Provide Tenants With AC?
State laws vary, but most require rentals to include air conditioning, usually only heat and not cooling.
However, most legislation requires that if the rental unit has cooling, the landlord must maintain it.
What If The Tenant Damages A Unit's HVAC?
Tenants cannot withhold rent or terminate the lease termination if the damage or loss of service is due to negligence on the part of the tenant or any guest of the tenant.
Further, the tenant may be held responsible for the repair charges.
As a renter, it's essential to read and understand your lease or rental agreement, know your legal rights, and understand the landlord's legal obligations when maintaining rental properties.
Consider reading Can It Be Too Hot For An Air Conditioner To Work?